Officials: Darby a good reminder of importance of storm prep

Officials: Darby a good reminder of importance of storm prep
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officials say Tropical Storm Darby is a good reminder of the importance of being prepared during hurricane season.

City Mill do-it-yourself expert Frank Suster said a little preparation goes a long way.

"When the storm does approach you're not worrying," he said.

In fact, almost any single-wall house can be strengthened to stand up better in a storm. 

Hurricane clips for roofs have a hold-down force of 400 pounds per clip.

And Suster said homeowners can pre-cut plywood to the size of window frames to shield the glass. The plywood should be thicker than a half inch. Secure it to the window with double-headed nails.

"If you use the regular nail and you pound it all the way in, and let's say the storm passes, no damage to your home, try to take the plywood off. With a double-head nail, it's easy to get a hammer in it and pull it out," Suster said.

Ahead of the storm, homeowners should also remove lawn furniture and potted plants -- anything strong wind can blow around.

And, if you have enough time, trim your trees.

"Right now if you have a coconut tree in your yard I would take all the coconuts off," Suster said.

Meanwhile, the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross urges everyone to have a disaster kit ready to go.

"You need to have a seven-day supply -- not five or three like the mainland -- of water. One gallon of water per day per person and seven days worth of food," Red Cross CEO Coralie Matayoshi said.

Other must-haves: Canned goods, flashlights and batteries, a portable radio, and medicine. Plus, buy a water bladder that you can fill in your bathtub.

"It actually lines your bathtub and you can fill it up and it gets a hundred gallons of water. It has a little spigot so you can take the water out when you need it," Matayoshi said.

To prepare for a storm, also consider copying important documents onto a flash drive.

And make sure your pet has a kennel big enough for it to stand and turn around in.

The Red Cross sells disaster preparedness packs, but Matayoshi said you can assemble one yourself.

One last top: Have extra tarpaulin and ropes on hand, which can be handy after a storm passed by.

"If you've got damage, you can protect it," Suster said.

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